Archive of ‘instructional technology’ category

Stanford VR Project

Stanford VR Project Shows Students Oceans of the Future

By Dian Schaffhauser 10/19/16

A new, free virtual reality program allows users to explore just what happens as climate change kills off coral reefs. The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience is a free science education tool that takes students to the bottom of the sea and then fast-forwards their experience to the end of this century, when, as scientists predict, many coral reefs are expected to corrode through ocean acidification. By putting the experience in VR, the collaborators say they are hoping to change people’s behavior in the real world.

The project came out of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, which created a related 360-degree video project that also examines the problem of global warming and its impact on the ocean’s life forms. But it’s the VR version that allows the viewer to deep-sea dive and collect samples off of the ocean floor.

The lab created the software in partnership with marine biologists Fiorenza Micheli from Stanford and Kristy Kroeker, formerly at Stanford and now at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as Roy Pea, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. The development process took two years to recreate a virtual replica of an actual rocky reef around the Italian island of Ischia

A related video, “The Crystal Reef,” filmed in 360 degrees and developed as part of a master’s degree project by a lab member, premiered during the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. There, people could watch the film on VR headgear. “We had a line of dozens of people for 11 hours a day, six days straight,” said Bailenson, in a Stanford article about the project.

The VR project has also gone to Washington, where lawmakers and staffers tried it out during a Capitol Hill event organized by non-profit Ocean Conservancy.


more on virtual reality in this IMS blog

Mobile Language Learning Technologies in Japan

Book Announcement: Implementing Mobile Language Learning Technologies in Japan

New book: Implementing Mobile Language Learning Technologies in Japan

by Steve McCarty, Hiroyuki Obari, and Takeshi Sato

Publisher: Springer Singapore / SpringerBriefs in Education (107 pages)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Contextualizing Mobile Language Learning in Japan

Chapter 2 Mobile Language Learning Pedagogy: A Sociocultural Perspective

Chapter 3 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Case Study:

Smartphone App LINE for EFL Peer Learning

Chapter 4 Osaka Jogakuin University Case Study:

Mobilizing the EFL Curriculum and Campus Infrastructure with iPods and iPads

Chapter 5 Aoyama Gakuin University Case Study:

Blended Learning and Flipped Classrooms utilizing Mobile Devices

Chapter 6 Conclusion: Implementing Language Learning in a Mobile-Oriented Society


This book explores theoretical and practical aspects of implementing mobile language learning in university classrooms for English as a Foreign Language in Japan. The technologies utilized, such as smartphones, iPads, and wi-fi, integrate students’ hand-held devices into the campus network infrastructure. The pedagogical aims of ubiquitous mobile learning further incorporate social media, blended learning, and flipped classroom approaches into the curriculum. Chapter 1 defines mobile language learning within dimensions of e-learning and technology-assisted language learning, prior to tracing the development of mobile learning in Japan. Chapter 2 documents the sociocultural theory underpinning the authors’ humanistic approach to implementation of mobile technologies. The sociocultural pedagogy represents a global consensus of leading educators that also recognizes the agency of Asian learners and brings out their capability for autonomous learning. Case studies of universities, large and small, public and private, are organized similarly in Chapters 3 to 5. Institutional/pedagogical and technological context sections are followed by detailed content on the implementation of initiatives, assessment of effectiveness, and recommendations for other institutions. Distinct from a collection of papers, this monograph tells a story in brief book length about theorizing and realizing mobile language learning, describing pioneering and original initiatives of importance to practitioners in other educational contexts.


Steve McCarty lectures for Kansai University, Osaka Jogakuin University, KIC Graduate School of IT, and the government agency JICA.

Hiroyuki Obari, PhD in Computer Science, is a Professor at the Aoyama Gakuin University College of Economics in Tokyo.

Takeshi Sato is an Associate Professor at the Division of Language and Culture Studies, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

Ordering information from Springer

Paperback (ISBN: 978-981-10-2449-8):

eBook (ISBN: 978-981-10-2451-1) or individual chapters:



more on mobile technologies in this IMS blog

VR in education

5 ways virtual reality is being used in education right now

By Meris Stansbury
1. For new research: using a state-of-the-art “haptic” floor of aeronautic metal that vibrates and moves to stimulate the physical world for research on how VR has the potential to change the way users feel and behave. There may also be implications for confronting racism, sexism, and aiding in empathy and humanitarian efforts, says Bailenson.
2. For coding and 3D design: According to Bob Nilsson, director of Vertical Solutions Marketing for Extreme Networking, the University of Maryland, College Park, now offers a class on virtual reality that gives students the opportunity to design their own interactive world, work with 3D audio and experiment with immersive technology through a combination of hands-on learning and case studies. Also, the University of Georgia is offering similar classes where students design and explore applications for VR. Conrad Tucker, an assistant professor of engineering at Pennsylvania State University, has received funding to build a virtual engineering lab where students hold, rotate, and fit together virtual parts as they would with their real hands.

3. For anatomy and dissection: Said one Extreme Networks survey respondent, “Our students have been developing a VR model of a cow’s anatomy for dissection and study. You have the ability to drill down to the circulatory system, brain, muscle, skeleton, etc. Our applied tech program is using VR in conjunction with Autocad for models of projects they design.”

4. For engagement: A whopping 68 percent of survey respondents said the major benefit of using VR in education is to excite students about the subject matter. 39 percent said it’s great for encouraging creativity.

5. For field trips: Google has eliminated restrictions on Expeditions, their VR field trips program. Google Expeditions was cited in the survey as one of the most popular sources of VR content, but with the complaint that it was a restricted program.

use of VR in education

Thomas S. McDonald ·

Virtual reality may have its place, but until traditional education moves away from their 20th century teaching methodology and replaces it with educationally innovative, 21st century learning methodology, within a blended and flipped learning environment, virtual reality is currently, much ado about nothing.
Unless any new application is educationally innovative and directly and measurably contributes to effective, efficient, consistent, affordable, relevant advanced student success outcomes for ALL students, future innovations must wait for current innovations to be implemented.
This process of appriate choice and appropriate implemention must start at the top and be beta tested for measured student success before its rolled out system wide.

more on VR in this IMS blog


Internet pioneer

Internet pioneer dies at 102

Leo Berane, native of Solon, Iowa, passed away Oct. 10 at the age of 10.

The same year that Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon and the Beatles gave their last live performance, the ARPANET was born.

“I never dreamed the internet would come into such widespread use, because the first users of the Arpanet were large mainframe computer owners,” said Beranek in the New York Times interview.


more on Internet history in this IMS blog:

benefits of mobile technology

How Teachers Leverage Mobile Technology

“Teachers and administrators continue to see the No. 1 benefit of any digital tool, content or resource as enhancing student engagement. While that is interesting, it has limited value. Lots of thing can engage kids — that does not necessarily point to an academic benefit or value proposition on its own. So, I always acknowledge the engagement benefit but look deeper at other benefits that can shed new insights into how the teachers are leveraging these powerful devices to transform education — or to change the trajectory of the learning process for their students.

among the more interesting or meaningful benefits were:

  • Improvement of communications between stakeholders, such as the ability for students to ask question via e-mail. “Stronger communications between students and teachers is a huge benefit
  • Extending learning beyond regular school hours: “Teachers giving that high marks as a real or perceived benefit means that they are also looking for ways to extend learning time beyond the school day but realize that kids need a device to make that a reality.”
  • Student ownership of the learning process: “Students who are using mobile devices in class are empowered/enabled to be in the driver’s seat of their own learning


more on mobile technology in this blog

ePub3 and more

Hello OLC Colleague,

Are you preparing students for job skills required in 2020?


Attend our webinar to see how the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing, Training and Education platform can give you  a way to move your organization’s mobile collaboration and publication systems to a powerful new level.


Whether you are in the public or the private sector, you can benefit from learning how to use VR/AR as well as seeing how multimedia (ePub3) and live streaming technologies can enhance your collaborative and publishing skills.

Student-Centered Instruction Webinar
Nov. 8, 2016 | 1 PM (UTC-7)


We will be covering:

  • How to use live streaming video to collaborate on projects and assignments.
  • How to use AR and VR to create “empathetic” point-of-view.
  • How to give each author/teacher a publishing platform to feature live broadcasts of new books, book trailers, live chat with readers/students, and even “casting” a virtual book tour to bookstores and libraries as patrons can view on their mobile devices.
  • A guided tour of our three ePub3 Creator Studio Templates that are used for collaborative work inside our web app.

Bonus! All attendees will receive a free copy of Professor Jim Musgrave’s book, Running with the Big Dogs: A Creator’s Guide to Using Electronic Media. Also, if you teach online classes, he will give you an Insert-text Grammar Template to use when grading your students’ papers.


Join our free webinar on November 8, 2016 at 1 PM (UTC-7). Register today.

3D Printing Project-Based Curriculum

Inside WIT’s 3D Printing Project-Based Curriculum

Who better to learn about incorporating 3D printing into instruction than from an instructor who taught the curriculum?

Join us on October 26th to hear directly from Assistant Professor Steve Chomyszak who used Stratasys 3D Printing Curriculum to teach a “Special Topics” 3D printing course at the Wentworth Institute of Technology.

During this complimentary webcast, you’ll gain valuable insight into the successes and lessons learned, including:

  • Overview of the 14-week project-based 3D printing curriculum
  • How an interactive learning environment impacted and inspired WIT students
  • How the WIT 3D printing lab went from crickets to buzzing
  • How curriculum measured up according to students
  • And so much more!

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